*** DEBUG END ***

UK news in brief

31 May 2024

Correction: the portrait (Features, 17 May), labelled William Gilpin by a photo agency, was in fact Landseer’s painting of Sir Walter Scott. Thank you to our readers who spotted this. Here is the real Gilpin portrait


Former Soul Survivor pastor to move to Edinburgh

THE Revd Andy Croft, a former senior pastor at Soul Survivor, Watford, will be licensed as Associate Rector of St Paul’s and St George’s (“Ps and Gs”), Edinburgh, on 14 July. Mr Croft was suspended by the trustees of Soul Survivor, Watford, last June (News, 9 June 2023), as the result of concerns about how he had handled allegations about the behaviour of Mike Pilavachi, the founder of Soul Survivor and his mentor. Mr Croft was permitted to return to ministry in December after completing additional safeguarding training, but resigned from his post (News, 1 December 2023).


Path clear for canonisation of London-born teenager

A TEENAGER born in London, Carlo Acutis, is to be the first “Millennial” declared by the Roman Catholic Church a saint. After the Pope’s recognition of a second miracle attributed to the young man, who died of leukaemia at the age of 15, in 2006, a Consistory of Cardinals is to be convened to deliberate on his canonisation. The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, told The Times last week that Acutis had enjoyed a “fast-track to sainthood”, and said: “He lived each day cheerfully, always united with Jesus. A joyful, courageous, generous, faith-filled teenager.”


Couple return to deliver aid to refugees in Poland

AID for the 170,000 Ukrainian refugees in Kraków is still “essential”, the Vicar of Bakewell, in Derby diocese, Canon Tony Kaunhoven, and his wife, Rachel, have said, as they prepare to make their sixth visit to the city on 11 June (News, 2 December 2022). They will deliver donated medical supplies, vitamins, toiletries, knitted woollens for children, and Lego, together with financial donations.


St John’s abides by its decision to axe SJV

THE Council of St John’s College, Cambridge, has voted against a motion requesting a re-evaluation of the decision to disband its second chapel choir, the mixed-gender St John’s Voices (News, 28 March). An update on the online petition, organised by Friends of SJV, posted on 16 May, reported that the College had received “some very generous donation offers which would have secured the future of the choir, but they rejected these. . . We hope that SJV may be able to rebrand and become a university-based choir.” The Council has argued that “students’ preferences and experiences in music today are different from those of previous generations”. 

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards


Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available



Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website


ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)